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Space Force Launches Tech Demo Mission With 2 Satellites

1 min read

The U.S. Space Force has launched a United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V rocket that carried two satellites under the Space Test Program, which provides spaceflight opportunities for the Department of Defense’s science and technology pursuits.

Space Systems Command said Tuesday its STP-3 mission carried STP Satellite-6 and the Long Duration Propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter – 1 to space on the same day.

STPSat-6 is designed to support the detection of nuclear detonations and demonstrate new NASA-made technologies: NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration and the Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder developed by the space agency and the Naval Research Laboratory.

NASA will use LCRD to demonstrate two-way laser relay communications via infrared, which has the potential to deliver data rates up to 100 times greater than radio frequency technology. The UVSC Pathfinder is a space weather payload that will explore the Sun’s energetic particles, which are the most dangerous kind of solar radiation.

On the other hand, LDPE-1’s experimental payloads are designed to help DOD manage risks and inform prospective efforts.

“It’s a complex mission that included thousands of inspections over four years and daily coordination with Space Force Guardians, who provide mission assurance and work with us to ensure everything goes as planned,” Ron Fortson, ULA director and general manager of launch operations, said about the STP-3 mission.

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